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Senator Doug Jones’ Bill to Crack Down on Robocalls Passes Congress, Set to Become Law

WASHINGTON – Today
the Senate passed broad, bipartisan legislation co-sponsored by Senator Doug
Jones (D-Ala.) to decrease and deter robocalls. The Telephone
Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act
 was
passed by the House of Representatives earlier this month. The bill now heads
to the President to be signed into law.

“Most
people in this day and age know what it’s like to have their phone go off all
day long because of annoying robocalls. These calls aren’t just an everyday
nuisance — they can also perpetrate scams and often prey on the elderly. Even
in the divisive times we have today, we can all agree that these incessant
robocalls need to end, and I’m glad Congress was able to come to a bipartisan
compromise to crack down on them,” Senator Jones, a member of the Senate
Special Committee on Aging, where he has worked to raise awareness of scams
targeting the elderly and passed bipartisan legislation to protect
taxpayers
from being targets of tax-return fraud.

The
TRACED Act  gives regulators more time to find scammers and levy
fines for those who are caught, promotes call authentication and blocking
adoption, and brings relevant federal agencies and state attorneys general
together to address impediments to criminal prosecution of robocallers who
intentionally flout laws.

The
TRACED Act  would:

  • Requires service providers to
    implement call authentication and blocking technologies free of charge for
    consumers and small businesses;
  • Gives the Federal
    Communications Commission (FCC) the ability to step up enforcement actions
    against unlawful robocalls with a longer statute of limitations and
    increased fines in certain cases;
  • Brings together relevant
    federal agencies as well as state attorneys general and other non-federal
    entities to identify and report to Congress on improving deterrence and
    criminal prosecution of robocall scams at the federal and state levels;
  • Requires the FCC to establish
    partnerships to better inform efforts to protect consumers, including an
    advisory committee to develop best practices to combat unlawful robocalls
    made to hospitals and a consortium to trace the origins of illegal
    robocalls;
  • Directs the FCC to protect
    consumers from one-ring scams, in which callers ring once and then hang
    up, attempting to trick the consumer into calling back and incurring hefty
    charges; and
  • Requires the FCC to report to
    Congress on enforcement and compliance progress. 

 

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